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Pigpen overhaul at Dodge County Fair finished

August 11, 2018

BEAVER DAM -- After two years of fundraising, countless hours of organization, and a lot of determination from a very strong group of volunteers, the pig barn at the Dodge County Fairgrounds is full of sparkling, brand new pigpens.

“The old pigpens were more than 50 years old, had been used by several generations in the swine project, and were unsafe for both animals and exhibitors,” said Eric Salmi, adult fundraising co-chairman. “We started fundraising in September 2016 by selling the old pens.”

Through trivia nights, T-shirt sales and pen sponsorships, the Dodge County Meat Animal Sale Committee raised about $46,000 to order and install 92 new pens. Half the pens were installed last year just prior to the fair, and the other half were installed on Saturday.

“We’re very glad to see the barn finished by fair time,” said Andy Boschert, exhibitor and youth fundraising co-chairman. “For both exhibitors and the public, it’s a much-needed upgrade which will, in turn, increase the safety and view of the pig barn at the fair.”

Courtni Salmi, who also shows pigs, said, “I was able to use a new pen last year already, and they keep the pigs contained better so they can’t get out. They’re so much better than the old pens.”

Eric Salmi said he is grateful for the fundraising help.

“Our signboard featuring sponsors will be up by fair in the form of an aluminum sign at the front end of the barn,” Eric Salmi said.

In addition to pigs, the fair features a variety of other farm-animal species, such as dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and much more. Fairgoers are invited to walk through the barns to see the animals and visit with the exhibitors.

The Dodge County Fair is scheduled for Wednesday through Aug. 19. More information can be found at www.dodgecountyfairgrounds.com.

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